Anthocharis Damone Butterfly (Protected)

Anthocharis damone butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Northernmost Golan, Israel

This morning, breakfast was enjoyed while re-reading Pyle’s Mariposa Road (a 3rd read is not out of the question). Among the incredible butterflies recalled in this stretch of his book, was the Desert Orangetip. Great! We’ve posted that pretty here in wingedbeauty.com. Breakfast finished, here I am posting, and what better image to share than this Protected orangetip, found only in northernmost Israel. It may also be found in Lebanon and Syria, but butterflying there amongst Hezbollah, al-Queda, the warring sides in the Syrian slaughter grounds, etc. would require a significant risk of not being heard from again.

This snappy gent was busily nectaring in a small nature reserve that March morning. The fine parking lot accommodates cars and buses for touring school excursions. As in most cases, the head of trails in such places (with no park rangers) are heavily worn and often too littered, but once you’ve hiked the trail for some minutes, all you encounter are the occasional serious esthete and wildlife. The orange of his wingtips was deep and easily reminded of several tasty fruits and gourds that share this zippy orange coloring. Female A. damones must swoon over this fellow.

Look how he allowed me to approach! Other such wingtips were seen, but this one was the freshest and I shot away.

Jeff

War! War! War!

Cow Grazing on Mt. Hermon photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

We’ve posted this image some time ago. Our bovine  was grazing at the peak of Mt. Hermon, Israel. I was there with my guide, Eran Banker, photographing butterflies. There are species of butterflies that are only found at higher elevations on Mt. Hermon and nowhere else. If you visit that post, you will be reminded that Eran encountered a land mine there, as we roamed the mountaintop. That sure got my attention, and I stopped stepping off the primitive trails  and limited myself to tried and true terra firma. That caused much frustration, because it was if they knew it, and those butterflies surely teased me from then on.

We were prevented from going back there in June. The mountain was Closed. Why? Look again at this photo. You are viewing Syria in the background. Cow foreground, Syria background. Syria is at War! with itself. War! however you categorize it. That horrific conflict has grabbed our headlines here in the U.S. and all around the world.

So Mt. Hermon is closed. That’s why when I photographed about 1/4 up the mountain this year, Israeli planes were going up and down, up and down, and up and down nearby valleys…scouring the land for any variety of infiltrator. Sad, tragic stuff, No?

We won’t be revisiting these northernmost Golan peak for years, if ever again? There are killing fields below.

We will shortly be posting additional images that we got on that peak, many thousands of feet above sea level. Butterflies living under the surveillance of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, the U.N. and surely somehow, several other nations, including the United States of America.

Crazy stuff. Violent, inhumane behavior. Butterflies flying carefree in habitat within range of missiles, mortars, cannon fire and WMD? Incredible, don’t you think?

Jeff

 

Israel’s Skittish Long-Tailed Blue Butterflies

Long-Tailed Blue Butterfly at Mt. Hermon, Israel

March 2012 found Mt. Hermon (elevation 7330 ft) in Israel’s Golan covered with snow. So we photographed butterflies in the low lying areas within sight of the peaks.

This Long-Tailed Blue butterfly was photographed in June of 2008, at the top of Mt. Hermon. Lampides boeticus on Mt. Hermon live with little or no contact with humans. This female did allow my approach . . . hunger trumps caution at times.

Access to the mountain top is by chair-lift only, and most visitors are skiers who ski the mountain during winter. Many fewer explore during June.

Mt. Hermon’s butterflies do not stay on the trails, so we followed them, which is how we do what we do . . . until we found . . . a land mine!  That was a game changer.

More soon about Mt. Hermon’s butterflies, many of whom are found only on Mt. Hermon and nowhere else!

Despite the absence of people, the butterflies of Mt. Hermon are the most skittish I have ever approached.

Jeffrey